Mejzlik Propellers and UBIQ Aerospace to develop an ice protection solution for UAV propellers

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UBIQ Aerospace has previously focused on ice protection for aerodynamic surfaces. However, in order to develop a solution for a wide variety of use cases in the UAS and UAM (urban air mobility) industries, equal focus must also be placed on propellers and exposed sensors. The collaboration with Mejzlik, who have decades of experience in propeller design and manufacture, will see the adaptation of both existing and novel proprietary technological concepts to the propeller de-icing challenge.

Preliminary results from Nicolas Müller’s research show that the fast rotation of UAV propellers makes them very sensitive to icing. Experiments conducted in an icing wind tunnel showed that icing reduced the propeller’s performance by up to 40% within the first minute. Ice building on propellers also carries an additional hazard – it can break off asymmetrically on individual propeller blades, causing instability and considerable vibrations that could be highly dangerous for the aircraft.

Hence, the two companies are exploring new ways to develop an ice protection solution for drone propellers.



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